Events like the Plainville Hall of Fame Induction Dinner are like beautiful tropical islands amid tempestuous seas.
People in atendance begin to realize how therapeutical it is to get together, break bread and recall old times. Not just fun, not just a delicious dinner. Downright therapeutical.
Where else can one of Plainville's most esteemed educational leaders spin a yarn about how a former junior varsity basketball coach held his pregame meeting while sitting in a toilet stall and smoking a cigarette? Nowadays, such an act would be blasphemy, a reason for dismissal, the subject of parental diatribes. On Saturday night, it elicited howls of delight from a packed house at Nuchie's in Forestville.
Yes, I'm thrilled to say that those attending the dinner are best advised to check their political correctness at the door. Of course, if you ask me, it should be chucked in the nearby Pequabuck River or tied to the adjacent railroad tracks in the hope for a train to roll by real soon.
To witness the toll PC takes, one just needed to stroll the room where the Great Organizer Byron J. Treado III put together an Italian cocktail hour, and hear the stories told by coaches who have been, or are being, worn down by rules that some folks heed but would never abide by if roles were reversed.
It's so funny how putting the microphone in some hands brings about such different presentations and deep-seated personality quirks. One inductee kind of rambled a bit during his speech. You could hear the din rising among the seat-squirming celebrants, slowly but steadily, as the person went through his copious notes, including a biographical study of his presenter.
Those who came after him, ever aware of the crowd's reaction, kept it short and sweet. Hey, I'm all for late-night revelry but it was nigh to 11 p.m. when the party broke up.
But all in all, you come to ascertain that Plainville is fortunate. I've said it before, not every town has such an elaborate program to honor the past. Not every town has an individual like Byron Treado equipped to make the personal sacrifices necessary to stage such an event, even while his professional life goes through a valley or two.
I look at Plainville as a throwback. It reminds me of my hometown Hamden the way it was when I was growing up, the way it never could be again. I look at my adopted hometown of Farmington and realize that people like Byron Treado don't pop up in every neighborhood. Some people have visions that evaporate after a night's sleep like dew on a summer's morn.
Treado is a man of action and Plainville wouldn't have the same connotation without him. He stepped down Saturday after 10 years, but I agree with him that those following him will keep it going. There are enough good people in all our towns to take the leadership but scant view who will steadfastly hold onto their dreams and fight through adversity to make them reality.